UA conducting investigation after student reportedly sends racist messages on dating app

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2014 file photo, a customer looks at the screen size on the new iPhone 6 Plus while waiting in line to upgrade his iPhone at a Verizon Wireless store in Flowood, Miss. A newly-discovered glitch in Apple's software can cause iPhones to mysteriously shut down when they receive a certain text message. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The University of Alabama has announced an investigation after a student there was accused of sending series of racist messages to a woman on a dating app.

“Ain’t no one like an (expletive) loving white girl,” wrote a man named Kyle to a woman named Emi, in a screenshot of a conversation on Tinder.

In the screenshot dated March 9. Kyle was using a derogatory term for African Americans and asked if she was posing with an African American man in one of her profile pictures.

The screenshot shows Emi writing back, “Hi Kyle! I’m so sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, but your use of the (word) is actually a facet of racial violence!  Also, there are no black men in any of my profile pictures.”

Kyle responds, “I come from Alabama, where the only place we like our (expletive) is hanging from trees.”

Emi searched Kyle on Facebook, and identified him as Kyle Harcourt, a student and fraternity member at the University of Alabama.

In a public post on Facebook, where Emi goes by “Emi Anne,” she shared screenshots of Harcourt’s Facebook and Tinder profiles, along with the screenshot of her conversation.

She wrote:

“Today on Tinder I recieved incredibly hateful, racist, and homophobic messages from a student, Kyle Harcourt, from The University of Alabama and who is in Sigma Pi Fraternity/ Sigma Pi at The University of Alabama. It is 2017. Donald Trump’s presidency does not excuse racist actions and racialized threats, nor does it excuse hatred from behind a phone screen. It is not acceptable to act this way, no matter where you’re from or what you believe.”

The post has since been shared more than 1,100 times on Facebook, and retweeted more than 12,000 times.

The University of Alabama responded to Emi and released a statement:

“We have initiated a disciplinary review through the Office of Student Conduct and will follow due process. This incident will be appropriately addressed. UA does not condone the use of hostile or racist language, or threats of violence in any situation. We condemn all statements grounded in bigotry and hate. This type of behavior is unacceptable and does not represent the broader culture of the UA family. Our goal is an inclusive and welcoming campus for all.”

An official Twitter account linked to Sigma Pi, Harcourt’s fraternity, said his membership, which was suspended since January, is now terminated.

Tinder reached out to CBS42 with a statement:

“At Tinder, we are always monitoring and blocking users who are demonstrating bad behavior on our platform, and this case is no different. As we stated in our blog post earlier this month in response to those that behave like Kyle, we have a zero tolerance policy on those that harass and disrespect fellow Tinder users. Now more than ever, we want to make sure that all of our users know that this type of behavior is not welcome – or allowed – on our app, and we’re glad to see that the organizations that Kyle is affiliated with have taken appropriate action as well. We continually encourage our users to immediately report any harassment or bad behavior while they are on Tinder in order for us to quickly ban users who violate our terms of use.”

– Rosette Pambakian, VP of Communications and Branding, Tinder

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